Tag Archives: travel

A vacation back to my hometown: a photo essay

I took a trip back to my hometown of Albuquerque for vacation this year. I wanted to see my father who has had some health problems in the past few years and my 89 year old Grandmother. It was a bit of a bittersweet trip as my mom who has lived in Hawai’i for 22 years decided to move back to New Mexico recently and was along to search for a new house.

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This is my brother David and his wife Von. Von doesn’t like pictures, but I thought this was an adorable picture of them. My brother is a loving husband and a hard worker.

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One of the charms of Albuquerque this time of year is that hot air balloons festoon the skies preping for the balloon fiesta in early October. I remember as a child one of these landed in our school yard and they let us all out to see. This was taken from my brother’s front door.

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What New Mexico lacks in greenery, it more than makes up for in other colors. Here is the red cliff in the Jemez Pueblo, an Indian (Native American) reservation an hour north of Albuquerque.

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No trip to Jemez in complete without Indian fry bread. With a little honey this will put any doughnut to shame. Being fried in pure lard may have something to do with it.

img_1148Jemez Springs is quintessential New Mexico in my opinion. You can see the Spanish Mission influences in the architecture, the cobalt blue skies, and red clay mountains. This is where I spent some special moments in my youth fishing and camping with my parents.

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Green chile is a New Mexico staple. Every fall these are roasted in metal drums and the aroma is earthy and otherworldly. I remember in college me and two roommates ate a half a trash bag full of these one afternoon. We suffered, but it was worth it.

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This is my dad making enchiladas. In New Mexico, they are stacked with an over easy egg and red chile smothered on top. Red chile is made by drying the above green chiles on “ristras” or hanging chiles which have a dual decoration and culinary usage.

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Next day we went shopping in Old Town Albuquerque. Here Native Americans sell there beautiful turquoise and silver jewelry as they have done for years. There is actually a “Romero” street (my last name). Romero is a family name traced back to the Spanish conquistadors in New Mexico 400 years ago.

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Here is my mom in an Old Town cafe. Again the colors…

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This mercado sells Mexican blankets for a very low price. As well as aisles of colorful pots and other goodies.

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These will make a great addition to my yoga props for my students….

 

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Aeroplane Yoga!

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Flying is taxing on the whole being. Between jet lag, bad airplane food, getting your immune system assaulted by travelers from all over the world who are sick, and bad posture from narrow airplane seats, you run many risks of getting ill.

During a weekend trip to San Francisco, I had my wife take a few pictures of me doing some asanas that are possible on a long plane ride. These postures combat some of the ills of sitting for five hours.

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This is Gulphasana (a variation of Uttanasana where you put your hands around your Gulpha, or the Marma point around your ankles). I like this variation because it gives the spine more traction and the ankles give you leverage to pull against. If you are stiffer, you can simply hold the elbows in Uttanasana. You can do this pose by in the area for the loo queue.

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Lolasana (Earing Pose). This pose does many things whilst traveling. If you think about your internal organs of digestion, they are sitting heavy for many hours on the plane. This arm balance, which is easy with the chair configuration extends the internal organs and gives them a “rest” from being sedentary. It also stretches the arms and gets the heart rate going. You cannot see, but the calves are crossed at the shins to form an”X”. Also note this is not the final stage of the pose where you bring your knees to the chest. Again, this stage is presented just to give the internal organs a nice stretch.

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Simhasana I variation (Lion pose). From Lolasana, bring all the weight on to your calves that are still in the shape of an “X.” One of the great dangers of flying is deep vein thrombosis, where you can get a blood clot in your legs from a combination of sedentariness and change in pressure from altitude. By sitting on your calves, you squeeze the lymph nodes and promote circulation. The spine also gets a nice reprieve by naturally stacking up straight when sitting on the calves. One warning is that this pose can be very painful if you have stiff calf muscles. My mentoring teacher would often tell me that ┬áthe stiff calf muscles go hand and hand with poor digestion. As flying can make one constipated, this pose may give you aid in moving things along. Don’t do this if you have knee problems. The classic posture is with the tongue sticking and the eyes looking up toward the tip of the nose. Because of stricter air policies, I would use caution as it may be draw unwanted attention from the air marshall.

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Supta Vajrasana (reclined lightning bolt pose). This is a variation of Supta Virasana where I sit on my heels and recline the chair back. This provides tremendous relief for the spine and digestive system. It provides an assertive stretch on the front thigh muscles (quadriceps). I would try to build time up to five minutes in this pose. Be careful on getting out of the posture and use the lolasana technique of lifting yourself with your arms and extend one leg out at a time to avoid injuring the knees. If you have knee problems omit this pose.

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When you get to your destination, I would recommend that you do inversions to offset the invitation of deep vein thrombosis. Viparita Karani as seen above is always nice to restore yourself.

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Simple legs up the wall (Urdvha Prasarita Padasana) would work too if you don’t have props handy. If are menstruating or cannot do inversions, Supta Baddha Bonasana will also provide some benefits for digestion and restoration.

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Some airports now feature yoga rooms where you can do these poses during your layover. If your airport does not provide them you can just find an empty gate area and find a wall. Bon Voyage!

Triangles from my travels

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My wife and I have travelled quite a bit since we’ve been married. Here are some shots of Utthita Trikonasana from around the world.

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Cannes, France

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Lisbon, Portugal

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Oui, oui!

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Helsinki, Finland

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St. Petersburg, Russia

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Tallinn, Estonia

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Stockholm, Sweden

 

 

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Mespelbrunn, Germany

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Bandelier, New Mexico

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Vegas!